Grindelwald - Over the Grosse Scheidegg by bus

Grindelwald - Over the Grosse Scheidegg by bus

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Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1231 posts
top member
Jun 18, 2017 - 2:07 PM

This is a stunning trip to do in the Jungfrau Region. The bus route runs between Grindelwald railway station (altitude 1,034 metres) and Meiringen railway station (altitude 595 metres) via the Grosse Scheidegg mountain pass (altitude 1,962 metres), and takes 1 hour 45 minutes. Scenery on both sides of the Grosse Scheidegg is magnificent, but the mountains and glaciers are more dramatic on the Grindelwald side

I did this trip a couple of times, and in both directions, in September 2016. Travelling in the direction from Grindelwald to Meiringen, I love the steep climb out of Grindelwald and the view into the valley when descending to Meiringen, so I think I like going in this direction best, and prefer to sit on the right-hand side of the bus for the best views.

The landscape on the Grindelwald side consists of steeply sloping meadows bordered by dramatically towering mountain rock faces capped by glaciers. These meadows are partly forested, with rocky outcrops, small rocky streams (some of which were dry in September), and with small huts dotted throughout. Chalets adorned with flowers on the lower slopes add to the beauty of the view. Conifers are the predominant trees in the patches of forest, but there were also some deciduous trees starting to show some autumn colour. Down near Grindelwald, the meadows look groomed, whilst those up higher have longer grass. Heading up to the Grosse Scheidegg, the view changes constantly due to the many switchbacks, with frequent views back into the valley.

On the Meiringen side, the landscape is less dramatic, but still superb, with mountains, glaciers, beautiful forests and vigorous mountain streams.

The mountain road is very narrow, with constant switchbacks to deal with the steep grade. In most places there is not enough room for two vehicles to pass each other, and there are no guard rails. As the PostBus has priority, oncoming traffic has to pull off to the side to allow the bus to pass. There are lay-bys every so often to accommodate this. One lay-by we passed had been taken over by resting cows, so it was fortunate there was no oncoming traffic at that point!

The PostBus horn is used constantly before each blind corner to warn oncoming traffic of the approach of the bus, so drivers can pull off the road in time. However, sometimes a car has to back up to a suitable place in order to pull off the road. All the car drivers I saw were adept at backing up to the previous layby, but on such a road it was pretty interesting to watch! At certain times, two PostBuses will need to pass each other, so one bus will pull off into a lay-by at a pre-arranged place and time, and wait a few minutes for the oncoming bus to pass.

Although the PostBus has priority on this road, that doesn’t hold true when a herd of cows is on the move! Then the Postbus has to find somewhere to pull over to allow the herd to continue on their way! Due to the winding nature of the road, a herd of cows may not be visible until the last minute. When that happened on one of my trips, one of the cowherds dashed out onto the road madly waving a staff to warn the PostBus driver that an encounter with a herd of cows was imminent!

At the end of the trip, the fastest way to get back to Grindelwald or Meiringen is by train. Alternatively, it is possible to incorporate a boat trip on the Brienzersee (Lake Brienz) between Brienz and Interlaken Ost, but this has to be carefully timed. Coming back the same way in the bus is of course also an option if the timing is right.

If there wasn’t enough time to do the whole route, the best part to do would be from Grindelwald to Grosse Scheidegg or Schwarzwaldalp (just past Grosse Scheidegg) and then return the same way.

There are restaurants at Grosse Scheidegg and Schwarzwaldalp for meals or light refreshments. The restaurant at Grosse Scheidegg has a balcony with views down the valley to Grindelwald. At Schwarzwaldalp, the restaurant is in a beautiful mountain setting. Even if doing the whole route, it is nice to break the trip at Schwarzwaldalp or Grosse Scheidegg, but it’s important to check the bus timetable before doing so.

The bus also stops at the Rosenlaui Gorge, but I haven’t been into the gorge myself. After Rosenlaui Gorge, the next stop is at the Rosenlaui Hotel, which is famous for its scenic setting and good food, but I haven’t been there either - yet! Both places are definitely on my list for the future!

Officially, the sector Grindelwald to Schwarzwaldalp is operated by Grindelwald Bus, and the sector Schwarzwaldalp to Meiringen is operated by the PostBus, but in practice you do not always need to change buses at Schwarzwaldalp. The timetable will indicate whether it is necessary.

As the road is impassable in winter, this bus only runs between late May and late October. In 2017, the operating dates are from 20 May to 22 October, but the number of services per day is higher between 10 June and 15 October. To get the timetable for this trip to display in the Swiss Timetable, you need to put in Grindelwald and Meiringen as the departure and destination points, and “Grosse Scheidegg” in the “via” field.

The Swiss Travel Pass provides free travel between Grindelwald and Oberer Gletscher (which is at the edge of Grindelwald village), and between Meiringen and Schwarzwaldalp. The middle sector between Oberer Gletscher and Schwarzwaldalp is discounted at 50% and cost me CHF 9.10 one way in September 2016.

I have attached some photos I took during this trip, together with a screenshot from Google Maps showing the route. The first lot of photos are on the Grindelwald side of the Grosse Scheidegg.

Alpenrose

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Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1231 posts
top member
Jun 18, 2017 - 2:15 PM

More photos from the Grindelwald side of Grosse Scheidegg.

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Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1231 posts
top member
Jun 18, 2017 - 2:17 PM

These photos are of the Meiringen side of Grosse Scheidegg.

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Annika
Annika
4880 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 18, 2017 - 3:38 PM

Hi Alpenrose,

Thanks so much for yet another great trip report! Your detailed description of the route and views is very enjoyable to read, and helpful to anyone considering this beautiful postbus trip. You've added pretty pictures too. Thanks again!

maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
478 posts
top member
Jun 18, 2017 - 5:15 PM in reply to Alpenrose666

Hi Alpenrose

Thanks for sharing your lovely photos of this scenic ride!

We did this trip the other way last year from Meiringen to Grindelwald and stopped for lunch at Grosse Scheidegg. We are in awe of the driving skills of the bus drivers on the postbus routes! And the sounding of the horn just adds to the experience! We didn't meet any cows on the road on our trip!

Maggie

rockoyster
rockoyster
1048 posts
top member
Jun 18, 2017 - 11:38 PM

Hi Alpenrose,

Thanks for a great report and lovely photos.

Spending more time in the Jungfrau Region is definitely high on the agenda for our next visit. Hooked already! Must have caught the same bug Maggie did.

Last modified on Jun 18, 2017 - 11:39 PM by rockoyster
Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1231 posts
top member
Jun 19, 2017 - 6:40 AM in reply to Annika

Thanks for your kind words about my trip report, Annika!

Alpenrose

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1231 posts
top member
Jun 19, 2017 - 6:49 AM in reply to maggiehorswell

Hi Maggie,

>> We did this trip the other way last year from Meiringen to Grindelwald and stopped for lunch at Grosse Scheidegg.

I had lunch there too! It was superb sitting on that balcony in the sunshine with that lovely view.

>> We are in awe of the driving skills of the bus drivers on the postbus routes! And the sounding of the horn just adds to the experience!

Yes, those drivers are amazing, and I love the sound of the PostBus horn. I wouldn't want to be a driver coming the other way when I heard one though :-D

>> We didn't meet any cows on the road on our trip!

My bus had to pull over for cows on two separate occasions when going over the Grosse Scheidegg. Perhaps it was related to the time of year (September), as that is when they start to bring the cows down from the high pastures. Neither of the herds was decorated in the style of a full-on Alpabzug though.

Not long to go before your trip now!

Alpenrose

Lucas
Lucas
3460 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 19, 2017 - 6:56 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Oh looks like you've added another area to add to my to-do list here Alpenrose!

Thanks sir!

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1231 posts
top member
Jun 19, 2017 - 6:59 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi rockoyster,

>> Spending more time in the Jungfrau Region is definitely high on the agenda for our next visit. Hooked already!

I'm glad to hear you are planning another visit! You covered quite a few areas during your first trip. If you can find time for the Lower Engadin during your next trip, I'm sure you won't regret it. It's beautiful and quite different from anywhere else in Switzerland.

>> Must have caught the same bug Maggie did.

Yes, me too! It's very infectious and there is clearly no cure, but regular trips do help ease the symptoms :-D

Alpenrose

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1231 posts
top member
Jun 19, 2017 - 7:04 AM in reply to Lucas

>> Oh looks like you've added another area to add to my to-do list here Alpenrose!

Yes, it's a wonderful trip, Lucas! Lucky you, living in Switzerland!

Alpenrose

Adelaidean
Adelaidean
87 posts
active member
Jun 19, 2017 - 12:46 PM

This is absolutely on my list for September, thanks for the tips. Such great photos, too.

Mageo
Mageo
30 posts
active member
Jun 19, 2017 - 9:25 PM

Thanks Alpenrose for your reports. This trip, as well, is on our list for September.

Mageo.

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1231 posts
top member
Jun 20, 2017 - 5:17 AM in reply to Mageo

Hi Adelaidean and Mageo,

Hope you both have a wonderful time on this bus trip and that the weather gods are kind to you!

As you are both travelling in September, I will be interested to hear whether or not you encounter any cows on the move during your trip!

Alpenrose

arijit
arijit
26 posts
active member
Jul 10, 2017 - 1:44 PM

Hi Alpenrose666,

Your trip report has really moved me to include in my plan grindelwald to meiringen bus trip in October. Would you please tell me how can I buy the ticket for the middle portion you mentioned( oberer gletscher to schwarzwaldalp) as we shall have swiss travel pass with us? How far advance can we book the tickets for the journey? Can we break the journey at Gross scheidegg or Schwarzwaldalp for an hour or so and continue to Meiringen with the same ticket?

arijit

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1231 posts
top member
Jul 10, 2017 - 2:43 PM in reply to arijit

>> Your trip report has really moved me to include in my plan grindelwald to meiringen bus trip in October.

That's great! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It runs daily until 22 October 2017.

>> Would you please tell me how can I buy the ticket for the middle portion you mentioned( oberer gletscher to schwarzwaldalp) as we shall have swiss travel pass with us?

Just state your destination to the driver on boarding (regardless of where you board), and show your Swiss Travel Pass.

>> How far advance can we book the tickets for the journey?

This is just a local bus, so you can't reserve tickets in advance.

>> Can we break the journey at Gross scheidegg or Schwarzwaldalp for an hour or so and continue to Meiringen with the same ticket?

You can certainly break your journey at Schwarzwaldalp, as from there to Meiringen is free with the Swiss Travel Pass. My guess is that you can also break your journey at Grosse Scheidegg, because the ticket from Oberer Gletscher to Schwarzwaldalp says "Gültig: (date)", which means "Valid: (date)". But I'm not 100% sure about this, because on the occasion that I got off at Grosse Scheidegg, I later went back to Grindelwald with a separate ticket rather continuing to Meiringen. (My trip from Meiringen to Grindelwald and back to Meiringen later in the day was on another occasion, and I didn't break my bus journey that time).

When breaking your journey, make sure to check the timetable, so you know when you can get another bus to continue your journey.

Alpenrose

arijit
arijit
26 posts
active member
Jul 10, 2017 - 2:49 PM in reply to Alpenrose666

Thank you Alpenrose . We are looking forward to one wonderful experience.

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